Massage is not a new invention. In fact, massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. It was practiced in India and China long before it even made its way to Ancient Greece and Rome. It eventually became known around the world, with different civilizations putting their own spin on the old art.
With technology evolving leaps and bounds in recent years, massage therapy has also received a “technical” upgrade by way of the percussion massage gun
. Since its invention a little over 10 years ago, it has become a particular favorite among athletes and therapists looking to improve their workout sessions and recovery process.
Massage guns look a bit like power drills, with attachment heads taking the place of drill bits. Utilizing percussive therapy
, a massage gun gives the same results as a deep tissue massage. Designed specifically to treat soft tissue pain, these handheld electronic devices work by delivering strong “punches” to muscle tissue. The rapid, oscillating motion targets trigger points with direct pressure.
How does it differ from vibration therapy, something that’s also an “innovation” to traditional massage?
Percussive and vibration therapy functions almost the same way. They both apply force to a specific body part. Where they differ is the depth by which muscle tissues are reached. In this regard, percussion massage has the upper hand, reaching 60% deeper into tissue. Because percussive massage guns also hit the body multiple times per second, the brain doesn’t acclimatize as fast to the stimulation. The nervous system doesn’t have time to shut off therefore allowing more blood flow and oxygen to reach the affected area and facilitate healing.
But the advantages do not stop there. Here are 7 more ways a percussion massage gun benefits your daily life.
1. Convenient Massage Therapy
All the benefits of a massage is available within minutes, at your convenience. Because it’s a very portable device, you can use it anytime, anywhere. It eliminates the need to book an appointment with a therapist. That makes it easier to manage your time and your health.
2. Increase Blood and Lymphatic Flow
Massage increases blood flow. It stimulates nerve receptors. The lymphatic system meanwhile, removes waste and toxins from the body. This flow is controlled by muscle contractions.
Massage guns provide controlled deep tissue massage, creating a balance while improving circulation.
3. Injury Prevention and Recovery
Injuries like muscle tears, pulls and strains happen for different reasons. However, the most common causes are overuse, muscle tightness and muscle weakness. An injury can be a hindrance to daily activities.
The deep tissue massage that percussive therapy employs is helpful in breaking down adhesions that restrict movement. Collagen fibers, when stuck together, cause muscle tightness and pain. Forcing movement in this state can result in muscle damage.
Using a massage gun stimulates blood flow and increases the temperature of the collagen fibers, making breakdown easier and increasing range of movement. The looser the muscles are, the less the injury risk.
At the same time, the increased blood flow allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscles. This promotes healing and recovery. Healthier muscles are less prone to weakness and fatigue.
Massage has become popular as a treatment option for athletes and coaches. This is hardly surprising because massage is known to speed up recovery
. Massage guns, by improving circulation, helps in the healing process and is a good supplement to any rehabilitation program.
5. Counter Muscle Spasms and Stiffness
Intense workouts can result in muscle spasms and stiffness. A muscle spasm can lead to ischemia, or a shortage of oxygen in the muscles. Without enough oxygen, cellular metabolism is not possible and tissue dysfunction and death are entirely possible. Severe muscle damage can also lead to rhabdomyolysis
, a condition that is quite harmful to the kidneys.
By applying pressure to muscles, a massage gun helps the muscles relax. Relaxed muscles are less likely to spasm or stiffen.
6. Scar Tissue Breakdown
Scar tissue is collagen fibers. This is formed when the body repairs damage. The problem is its elasticity is different compared to natural, normal muscle tissues of the body. Because they are not as pliant, movement can be painful.
Massage guns help break these scar tissues down, improving elasticity, relieving restriction and alleviating pain.
DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is muscle pain that usually occurs 8-10 hours after exercise or intense physical activity. The soreness and pain tends to peak within 1-2 days.
Intense exercise can cause micro tears in muscles triggering body response by way of inflammation. Typical symptoms include:
- DOMS Prevention
Studies show that the use of massage therapy can effectively restore concentric strength and reduce pain much earlier. It also showed a decrease in LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase) levels post-exercise. LDH is released when there is tissue damage.
A percussion massage gun may be a fairly new addition to the massage therapy niche. But it’s one tool that can help provide all the benefits of traditional massage in the shortest, simplest and most convenient time.
And while athletes can greatly benefit from using one, any regular person, whether he exercises a lot or not, can find uses for a massage gun, too. From alleviating stress to relaxation, these are helpful tools for general well-being. Used correctly and safely, a percussion massage gun can greatly benefit and improve daily life.
- Tender muscles
- Reduced range of motion
- Pain and stiffness when moving
- Muscle fatigue
- Muscle weakness